Restricted lateral diffusion of PH-20, a PI-anchored sperm membrane protein

Science  24 Jun 1988:
Vol. 240, Issue 4860, pp. 1780-1782
DOI: 10.1126/science.3381102


The rate of lateral diffusion of integral membrane proteins is constrained in cells, but the constraining factors for most membrane proteins have not been defined. PH-20, a sperm surface protein involved in sperm-egg adhesion, was shown to be anchored in the plasma membrane by attachment to the lipid phosphatidylinositol and to have a diffusion rate that is highly restricted on testicular sperm, being more than a thousand times slower than lipid diffusion. These results support the hypothesis that lateral mobility of a membrane protein can be regulated exclusively by interactions of its ectodomain.

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